1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The sermon this week breaks down the first verse of Paul’s introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Romans. It is the longest introduction of any bible letter and also the longest of any non-biblical letter in the ancient Greco-Roman world.
In verse 1, Paul uses ten words to describe himself:
1. He is a Servant of Christ Jesus (His Master)
2. He is called to be an Apostle by Christ Jesus (His Vocation)
3. He is set apart for the Gospel of God (His Purpose)
You and I should pay careful attention to Romans because Paul accurately knows who he is and can therefore effectively help us to know God, the gospel, and ourselves.
The identity of Paul articulated in Romans 1:1 is astonishing in context of who he once was, and this transformation of master, vocation, and purpose can only be explained by his face-to-face meeting with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9; 22; 26).